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April 2012

The Review:
The Macintosh
Written By: 
Patricia Agnew
Photographs By: 
Christopher Shane

Chef Bacon’s homegrown goodness remains unfussy and divinely nourishing


Integrity and intrigue stoke the culinary fires at The Macintosh, the handsome latest offering from the Indigo Road restaurant group where partners Steve Palmer and executive chef Jeremiah Bacon craft a signature blend of downtown spirit with a taste of home. Located below sister property The Cocktail Club, this beautifully developed space greets guests with a sweeping view extending from the bar to the open kitchen, with attractive design details including exposed brick, reclaimed wood floors and tables, and an interesting look at upper King Street through a recycled glass-paned window.

A native of the Charleston area, chef Bacon graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with more than a decade of experience in premier New York properties including River Café, Le Bernardin, and Per Se. His menu often changes daily, offering locally sourced ingredients prepared to preserve and enhance natural flavors and textures. Though richly flavored, with significant attention given to each detail of presentation—including memorable garnishes—his homegrown goodness happily remains unfussy and divinely nourishing.

The pleasant staff and space offer appealing options for drinks and appetizers as well as dinner. Like the menu, the cocktail and wine lists developed by beverage director Jackson Holland are engaging. The most enjoyable Gen-X cocktail made with gin, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, and crème de violette is a shimmering celadon vision with a hint of lemon. The 1738 Sidecar, a blend of citrus-scented Remy 1738, cointreau, and orange juice, is pleasantly frosted with orange sugar. The wine list is diverse, offering ample choices by the glass.

Having enjoyed an inaugural winter dinner at The Macintosh, we headed back when recent unseasonably warm weather brought the ideal opportunity to try the menu’s lighter side. An appealing salad of fresh young greens tossed with gentle lemon vinaigrette included very special house-made smoked ricotta, wisps of red onion, and shaved radish along with a milk-cracker crouton. A remarkable duck liver parfait, sublimely pure in flavor and notably light in texture, was paired with a grilled baguette, sweet orange marmalade, and pecan crumble. Together, these two items could pair with a favorite wine for an excellent light meal.

Each of the entrées we enjoyed was a true star in its own right. The seasonal vegetable plate, described by our server as the most beautiful vegetable dish she’d ever seen, was indeed gorgeous. Artfully arranged to feature all components, it included distinctively flavored sunchokes, roasted beets, fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, red quinoa, Carolina Gold rice, mushrooms, and beautiful romanesco broccoli, a relative newcomer to the vegetable scene for some. Much more than a collection of vegetables on a plate, it was a carefully executed celebration of unique tastes, colors, and textures. The chef’s welcome restraint with salt allowed the dimensions of flavor to shine individually as well as collectively, with an earthy quality sealing the satisfaction. Local golden tile, the fish special, was buttery and dense, cooked to perfection and joined by distinctive Bright Light Swiss chard, parsnips, flavorful citrus purée, and a brown butter crumble, garnished with crisped parsnip straws.

On a previous visit, the grilled Halperns’ beef deckle was unbelievably tender, served with celeriac purée, creamed Kennerty Farms braising greens, and pickled pearl onions.Crispy Magret duck breast was elegant as well, served with sides of farro and fennel marmalade and finished with aged sherry gastrique. A chocolate caramel tart with sea salt prepared by WildFlour Pastry chef Lauren Mitterer was enjoyable for dessert.

In addition to the rewarding food, the service has been consistently exceptional, including pleasantly accommodating hosts. While the spirit is definitely animated and at times boisterous, servers make a concerted effort to share the important details of chef Bacon’s menu, a testament to the team commitment here. In addition to other positives, an open patio out back is promised for al fresco dining in the near future. —Patricia Agnew

The Macintosh
479-B King St., (843) 789-4299,
themacintoshcharleston.com
Average entrée: $26
Dinner: Sunday-Wednesday: 5-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Brunch: Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

 




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